Christmas

[ kris-muh s ]
/ ˈkrɪs məs /

noun

the annual festival of the Christian church commemorating the birth of Jesus: celebrated on December 25 and now generally observed as a legal holiday and an occasion for exchanging gifts.

Origin of Christmas

before 1150; Middle English cristmasse; Old English Cristes mǣsse Mass of Christ

OTHER WORDS FROM Christmas

Christ·mas·sy, Christ·mas·y, adjectivepost-Christ·mas, adjectivepre-Christ·mas, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for christmas

British Dictionary definitions for christmas

Christmas
/ (ˈkrɪsməs) /

noun

  1. the annual commemoration by Christians of the birth of Jesus Christ on Dec 25
  2. Also called: Christmas Day Dec 25, observed as a day of secular celebrations when gifts and greetings are exchanged
  3. (as modifier)Christmas celebrations
Also called: Christmas Day (in England, Wales and Ireland) Dec 25, one of the four quarter daysCompare Lady Day, Midsummer's Day, Michaelmas
Also called: Christmastide the season of Christmas extending from Dec 24 (Christmas Eve) to Jan 6 (the festival of the Epiphany or Twelfth Night)

Word Origin for Christmas

Old English Crīstes mæsse Mass of Christ
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Cultural definitions for christmas

Christmas

A festival commemorating the birth of Jesus, traditionally celebrated on December 25 by most Western Christian churches. Although dating to probably as early as a.d. 200, the feast of Christmas did not become widespread until the Middle Ages. Today, Christmas is largely secularized and dominated by gifts, decorated trees, and a jolly Santa Claus.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.